Frank Cartwright is big believer of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada.
A 50-year resident of Southern Nevada, the 63-year-old Cartwright is the ambassador of the seventh annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society golf tournament scheduled for April 16 at the Golf Club at SouthShore at Lake Las Vegas.
Supported each year by Findlay Cadillac, the dealership offers a new Cadillac to the first contestant to record a hole-in-one on a selected par 3 hole.
Cartwright has good reason to be involved in not only the society but also the golf tournament; he is a blood cancer survivor whose own battle with the disease started five years ago.
"There is a high percentage of people in Southern Nevada who are also fighting the disease," said Cartwright, who attended Rancho High School in North Las Vegas before graduating from Vo-Tech. "The tournament helps raise badly needed funds so that those affected directly or indirectly can get help when cancer suddenly enters their lives."
Cartwright said his own warning that he was ill came when he experienced back pain while visiting Dallas, Texas, in early 2007.
"The pain progressively got worse and finally got so bad that I actually called 911," he said. "My blood pressure went up so high that I thought I was having a heart attack. At the time I was general manager of FanCo, which sells ceiling fans. I had my hands full and I tried to blow off the warnings. When I did start going to a doctor, he said at first that it was a pinched nerve. This cancer I have will attack the bone any various places. The pain was excruciating because there was a cancerous tumor on one of my vertebrae, which actually became fractured by cancer."
Cartwright has undergone numerous radiation treatments and also had a stem cell bone marrow transplant on New Year's Eve of 2007.
"Needless to say, that was one New Year's Eve I will never forget," he said. "When cancer enters your life, you find yourself struggling to survive and it's times like these when the people of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society help you. The society helps with everything from moral support to insurance for treatment and individual financial support ."
The tournament, with a scramble format, has attracted a full field of 144 entries every year .
"We anticipate that the field will again be full this year, too," he said. "In addition, there are several other prizes in the tournament including longest drive, closest to the pin, among other incentives."
The tournament always provides a big boost for the society.
"We're hoping to raise more than $60,000 for blood cancer research through this golf tournament," said Tyler Corder, chief financial officer of Findlay Auto Group and president of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "Research funded by LLS has greatly improved survivor rates for blood cancers and we hope one day to find a cure."